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Airplane Flying Handbook
Ground Reference Maneuvers
Rectangular Course

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Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



A similar 360° turn may be started at a specific point
over the reference line, with the airplane headed
directly downwind. In this demonstration, the effect of
wind during the constant banked turn will drift the airplane
to a point where the line is reintercepted, but the
360° turn will be completed at a point downwind from
the starting point.

Another reference line which lies directly crosswind
may be selected and the same procedure repeated,
showing that if wind drift is not corrected the airplane
will, at the completion of the 360° turn, be headed in
the original direction but will have drifted away from
the line a distance dependent on the amount of wind.
From these demonstrations, it can be seen where and
why it is necessary to increase or decrease the angle of
bank and the rate of turn to achieve a desired track over
the ground. The principles and techniques involved can
be practiced and evaluated by the performance of the
ground track maneuvers discussed in this chapter.


Normally, the first ground reference maneuver the pilot
is introduced to is the rectangular course. [Figure 6-4]
The rectangular course is a training maneuver in which
the ground track of the airplane is equidistant from all
sides of a selected rectangular area on the ground. The
maneuver simulates the conditions encountered in an
airport traffic pattern. While performing the maneuver,
the altitude and airspeed should be held constant.

The maneuver assists the student pilot in perfecting:
• Practical application of the turn.
• The division of attention between the flightpath,
ground objects, and the handling of the airplane.
• The timing of the start of a turn so that the turn
will be fully established at a definite point over
the ground.
• The timing of the recovery from a turn so that a
definite ground track will be maintained.
• The establishing of a ground track and the determination
of the appropriate "crab" angle.

Rectangular course.
Figure 6-4. Rectangular course.